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tv   Inside Washington  PBS  January 28, 2012 6:00pm-6:30pm EST

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>> what do you think at tree can be? can it be stronger than steel? cannot treat the biodegradable plastic? can it be fuel for our cars? or clothing? or medicine that fights cancer? with our tree cell technology, we think it can. weyerhaeuser, growing ideas. >> we are not going to blower barack obama with some guy who has swiss bank accounts -- we are not going to beat barack obama with it some guy who has his bank accounts and things we're too stupid to figure out what it is all about. >> this week on "inside
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washington," gingrich and romney neck-and-neck in florida. >> he should of been telling people that these entities were causing housing bubble. >> the president's state of the union address. >> i will oppose any effort to go back to the policies that caused this crisis. >> a is not fair and not true for the president to attack republicans in congress. >> the fight for the latino vote. >> is he the most anti-emigrant candidate? >> the idea that i am anti- immigrant is repulsive. >> a starring role for warren buffett's secretary. >> she pays twice the rate i paid. i think that is outrageous. captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org-- >> florida republican voters go
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to the polls next tuesday to decide whether they want mitt romney or newt gingrich in the november election. rick santorum and ron paul are also on the ballot, but the polls indicate they don't have much juice in this one. at the thursday debate, romney and gingrich were at each other's throats. >> maybe romney should tell us how much money he has made after how many households that been foreclosed by his investments. >> have you checked your own investments? you also invested in mutual funds that invested in fannie mae and freddie mac. >> romney makes it a point to remind us that he has never lived in washington, d.c. still, if he wants to move here pretty badly. gingrich says that by the end of his second term as president we will have a permanent base thon the moon.
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jeanne? >> we saw something in the final days of the week wore momentum was moving. romney was very strong in that debate did many were frustrated that he did not defend and soft, seemed apologetic about his money. all that was gone on thursday night did double influence how the primary it closes. >> charles? >> i think the moon base was newt jumping at the shark, or to use another analogy, it could have been his dukakis in the tank moment, because it was a caricature of him. romney used it cleverly to say that newt was going out around every state promising x, y, and iz. the momentum has shifted, and what was remarkable was that with the audience at there, you
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would have thought it would have been at the gingrich moment like in south carolina. it was romney. it could act in the advance team. it was obviously -- a cut have been at the advance team. it was obviously a romney crowd from the beginning. whenever it was, romney won the debate decisively. >> colby? >> no question. gingrich was very off his game on thursday. he was really hit hard by romney with some very good zingers, and he seemed unprepared, flat and startled at times. his contacts were very weak. >> evan, white does the republican -- what is the republican establishment coming down on the rich? that is what he alleges. >> he alleges the truth. the republican establishment, like my colleague mr. krauthammer, and have come down
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hard on him. the debates -- on monday, they were slamming each other -- they do make a difference. the one of those that showed that romney was the alpha -- the one on thursday night showed that romney was the alpha male, newt is weak, nothing else matters. >> sheldon adelson -- is that what is keeping at gingrich's going? >> absolutely the campaign finance laws have really changed the presidential campaign. newt gingrich was broke in september, fourth place in iowa and in new hampshire, walked into south carolina with no money and momentum. then a casino mogul billionaire, mr. adelson, comes in with $5 million that he drops into gingrich's pac, and all of a
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sudden we have a campaign revived. then after south carolina, adelson's wife dropped another $5 million into the friendly political committee backing gingrich. we have never seen this before. any other cycle, gingrich would have been forced out after iowa and certainly after new hampshire. >> with all due respect, i disagree entirely. the two drops of $5 million produced a controlled experiment. there was a drop early in south carolina, but the reason there was a 30-point swing in south carolina was not the money for ads. it was the incredible moments he had in two debates, the juan williams and john king moment. that was the entire explanation for why he went up -- wait, i'm
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only halfway through -- [laughter] a controlled experiment has two parts. we have money in south carolina, and he wins. the same amount drop in in this other state, and he is going to lose because he had terrible performances in the debate. the money was irrelevant. >> uh-huh. any more? >> no, i would say qed. you know how they do that in geometry -- >> in south carolina, what made the difference was romney himself. he was unable to handle important questions on his taxes, bain capital. and south carolina is different, unlike iowa and new hampshire and florida. >> you show up at a debate, you
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don't need $1 million. what you need is a cab ride. >> charles, you protest too much. the $5 million did make a difference. one guy who has some interest here can have that much influence. >> peter hart, in the latest "wall street journal" poll, says that the republican primaries seem to be hurting republicans. >> no kidding. [laughter] these guys are calling each other child rapists and you think it is not going to hurt them? [laughter] >> the president lays down the markers for his reelection campaign and calls it the state of the union address. >> a shrinking number of people do really well while the growing number barely get by. we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot. >> i think it was a great
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campaign speech, obviously still in class warfare -- stoking class warfare. this may be a little different take it that you are getting from others, but i was astounded by his praise for iraq, since iraq is unraveling. >> senator john mccain's take on the state of the union speech. evan, you agree with that? >> i agree with all of it. it was a disheartening, pathetic speech. he needs a mandate for rebuilding infrastructure, tax reform. what does he talk about? raising taxes on millionaires, which i guess you have to do, but it is a tiny problem compared to the others. he is running on cheap pandering. it was moving at the end when he talked about the military, but it was overall a pathetic speech. >> charles, i read your column. >> evan is absolutely right from beginning to end, so since i
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took that time before explaining the controlled experiment, i will rest my case here. >> colby. >> all the great issues that he you talked about, evan, would go over the heads of republicans. they are not interested -- may i finish? working with republicans addressing these issues -- that is not the issue. the president spoke clearly to his base, he laid out the issues that are going to be discussed at this year in the campaign. the issues happen to be the question of income inequality. you will have on the republican side somebody who made it $40 million in two years and never worked a day and his life the last two years. -- a day in his life the last two years. the president representing people who are trying to climb
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the ladder. >> you assume is going to be romney. >> if 8 is newt gingrich, present and answered, because barack obama will get another f -- prayers have been answered, because barack obama will get another four years. >> i don't think that speech was really aimed at the base. he was talking past congress to independent voters. i know the white house was a focus grouping to see how well it measured. the measures did well with independent voters. in a sense, it was a disappointing state of the union speech because it wasn't a state of the union speech. >> it was a political speech. if he wins, he needs a mandate to do the things you have to do that are really hard. you have to what the voters say we are on board -- if you have if you're only mandate is to stick it to rich people, all it invites his fractious class
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warfare -- >> if you look at the polls this week, they also that there is a preference around the country for democrats regaining control of congress. there is a statement of republican conservatives say they won't vote for their own representatives. why? the problems over the last year that the president is articulating focus on congress. you cannot address these issues with the republican opposition we have. >> two minutes of this is all i can tolerate. it was a terrible speech exactly for the reasons evan articulated. it was all small ball. kids having to stay in school until age 18? that is not even a federal issue. the only large items were classe war and inequality in
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taxes, and what does he do? he revives a 10-year-old debate about a 415% spread in the higher rate for upper income people, which, if you imposed it for 10 years, would not cover stimulus money. they do not do anything about the big issues, infrastructure, tax reform. why is he running again? you read that speech, you have no idea why. >> as has become the pattern for every president, he gives the state of the union and then at they taken out and rode past the messages and tried to remind people -- and road test the messages and try to remind people. they are going to what will be swing states in the presidential campaign. again, this is a rehearsal for the presidential campaign. he went and tried to sell those messages to the independents.
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charles is right, a is a small ball. it is ironic that this white house, which was so derisive of the clinton administration for its small ball, has adopted the same tactic. >> what did you think of it mitch daniels' response? >> the best response speech i have ever heard too estate at the unit, which is very hard. it was the best articulation on conservative positions of reform on inequality and all that anybody has given in this cycle. you sort of sigh and wish he were running, but my advice to mitt romney is to memorize that speech, give it everywhere you go, and you will be president. he took on the issue of inequality the way nobody else has. the way to remedy the inequality is not to raise rates.
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what you want to do is have the rich contribute by eliminating deductions, and also, entitlement reforms, which means the rich will get less, which promotes social equity and debt reduction. that is the way you want to do eight. nobody else stated it, and he did it in 30 seconds and it was remarkable. >> do you agree with mitch daniels that it is not fair or true for the president to attack republicans in congress as obstacles? >> he has the right to say that it is not true at all brad they are obstructionists. but that is not an act against mitch daniels. -- a knock against mitch daniels. mitt romney cannot give that speech. he has something called bain capital that he has to discuss. he has tax returns he has to discuss. he cannot just take mitch daniels' remarks and talked his
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way into the presidency. >> do you think at republicans are looking at this and saying, this could have been might date? >> mitch daniels? i doubt it, because as charles said, giving the response to the state of the union is traditionally a really rotten assignment. they can it not to measure up because of the pomp and circumstance of -- they tended not to measure, but because of the pop and circumstance of the president's speech. mitch daniels did well, but let's face it, it is a bar this high off the ground. >> republicans are hungry for a leader who will step up and solve problems. it may have been a minor league performance, but they are hungry for that message. romney could deliver eight. it is an answer to that being a rich guy problems.
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he could turn around and say look, i am for doing these markings, everybody needs a piece of the action. >> if, as a wealthy person, romney were to propose something that would take a cut out of his income and his wealthy friends, he would have a ton of credibility if he adopted one of those things. mitch daniels -- i know -- romney has not embraced a single policy proposal along those lines. if he did, he would have instant credibility. >> do you think republicans are still looking for a guy to come in and rescued this thing? obama in that "walz regional" paul is bk -- in that "wall street journal" poll is beating rodney ending which handily. >> when newt was on his way to the nomination, there was not
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thought that if -- nicolette there was a thought that romney collapsed, there would be a search for a guy like daniels to come out of the woods. i think is unrealistic, but yes, that was eighth thought -- a thought. romney gave an interesting answer on how much of a conservative he is. he said, "i became conservative ." >> the search for the hispanic vote. >> to say that enforcing u.s. law to protect our borders, to expand legal immigration, as i approve, is somehow anti- immigrant is simply be over the top rhetoric that has characterized american politics too long. i am glad a marco rubio call you out on it, i think you should apologize for it, and recognize the differences of opinions on issues does not justify it labeling people with highly
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charged at that that' -- highly charged epithets. [applause] >> newt gingrich has accused mitt romney of being anti- immigrant. nobody wants to offend a senator marco rubio. according to one poll, romney is leading in gingrich by 15 points among latinos. how to republican candidates get around the immigration issue, charles? >> i think it is a fairly safe issue right now in the primaries. it will be a difficult issue in the general election, where you have a different audience. what romney has tried to do -- he is pushed a little bit to the right, where he does not want to become up because he will have a hard time scrambling in general elections and back to the center. he was effective here, because when you pull the rubio card in florida, you have won the argument.
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gingrich's the the one who is trying to be sort of accommodating, saying that if you have been here 20 years, we will not support you, and he had this whole -- we will not deport you, and he at this whole riff of do we really want to grab a grandmother and order on a bus. romney had a smart answer -- the problem is not 11 million grandmother's. it is about immigration, medical care, jobs. he really had a good answer yesterday. >> i talked to white house folks who feel, as charles stated, that the primary has pushed romney further to the right than he was where he began. the democrats feel that, looking at the primary process, that is one of the upside for them, that date and -- the white house expects they will run against
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romney, and the hispanic vote will be critical in the fall. particular outcome is very good for them. >> touchy issue, colby. >> the latino community is not a monolith. in florida, you're talking about a lot of cuban-americans, who have a particularly different approach to the whole question of immigration than you find in other parts of the country, arizona, at texas, because you are talking about a lot of mexican americans and other people from latin america. romney has said he would veto the dream act. the dream act mady not mean a lot to the people sitting around the table here. it means a whole lot to people in the latino community. romney will have difficulty veering away from that position in the general election. >> in one debate, romney talked about self-deportation.
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>> republicans are playing a short-term game going after angry white males. long-term, it is about the hispanic vote, because there will be more of them. you can pander all you want to angry white males, but if in the process you alienate the hispanic vote, the long-term future of the party is not good. that is what democrats are counting on. you can feel the candidates on stage trying to tread that divide. >> that sounds like a newt ad. is not anti-immigration, it is anti-illegal immigration. it is a huge difference, a sincere and important difference. what romney did in the last debate was he moved left. gingrich pushed him. he said he would approve the dream act for those who joined the military and that those in college. -- but not those in college. >> romney is so much like nelson
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rockefeller in 1964. he is from the northeast, he had to move right to get the nomination, and he made himself into a pretzel. barry goldwater, mr. conservative, had his way with rockefeller, and went to san francisco and won the nomination. got clobbered, but won the nomination. >> got crushed in the general election, and who won the next cycle? richard nixon, who was not a movement conservative. >> as a part of romney's narrative against him -- it is a parcher from the boston area against and that he is if tha -- a part of romney's narrative against and that he is a . -- is a flip-flopper. >> my net worth is within that number -- between $150 million
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and 200-some million dollars. >> i don't blame mitt romney for paying the taxes he paid i blame the u.s. congress. >> warren buffett's secretary pays a higher tax rate and then her boss -- than her boss. how will that play in peoria, colby? >> not well for mitt romney. he will be dogged by this is the campaign. -- through the campaign. he is a poster boy for what people say is wrong with the system, income inequality, the structure not as progressive as it should be. republicans will come up with a nominee that they will have a lot of hard work to do -- >> everybody aspires to be where mitt romney is. >> yes, and in other cycles,
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this may not be as much of and liability, if it becomes one. in this environment, where you have in public opinion polls a sense from the public that they don't think their kids are going to make it, that is not a good place. the other thing is that it is not the numbers that is the problem, it is everything around the number, that these guys play a totally different rules than the rest of us. >> populists are right at the game is a great i -- is rigged in congress for these people . paying on capital gains and not in, is outrageous, it needs to be changed. lobbyists have done a great job in washington protecting tax breaks for billionaires. >> which is why republican proposals for tax reform, along the lines of simpson-bowles, are exactly what the country needs and exactly what obama has
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rejected. second, and john kerry, the nominee for the democrats in 2004, released one year of taxes in 2003, and he paid less than did mitt romney. it applies across the board, and i think if it is a black mark on mitt romney, it should have been on kerry. but he is a different cycle. but i think romney in the debates showed that he can defend it without it being a defense of his wealth, and if he carries on that way, he will be able to blunt the issue. >> you get the last word. see you next week. vo:geico, committed to providing service to
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